The Ghana Institute of Safety and environmental Professionals (GhISEP), has bemoaned the fact that Ghana still does not have a comprehensive national Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Policy with appropriate legal provisions.
According to GhISEP, it is unfortunate that there are no basic systems in place to collect and analyze such data. This leaves the number of people who get fatally injured or suffer various injuries and diseases at workplaces annually, unaccounted for.
In Ghana, many young people work in the informal sector or in non-standard forms of employment as well as in high-risk sectors such as construction and transport. An analysis of road traffic accidents shows that young drivers are particularly at risk.
The Association made these known in a Press Release, as part of commemorating World Safety Day 2018, on the theme, “Generation Safe and Healthy”. This aimed at drawing attention of governments and relevant stakeholders to the need for countries to improve the safety and health of their citizens, especially young workers to guarantee a future and a generation that is safe and healthy.
The Association has therefore called on government to accord the highest priority to health and safety, as well as the principle of prevention. It has also urged government to enact an all-encompassing National legislation on OSH that meets the needs of 21st century society.
“To ensure a Generation that is safe and healthy, GhISEP recommends that government prioritizes and focus on the following areas: Improve the collection and analysis of data and information on Occupation Safety and Health and workers. Develop, update and implement policies, laws, regulations and guidelines to better protect the safety and health of workers. Build capacity aimed at helping governments, employers and workers and their organizations address the Occupation Safety and Health needs of workers,” the Press release stated.
The Association has also called on government integrate Occupational Safety and Health into general and vocational education to build a safer and healthier generation of workers. They should strengthen advocacy, awareness and research on workers’ vulnerability to Occupational Safety and Health hazards and risk.
They should also take advantage of the existing professional and technical expertise in country, by partnering with GhISEP, the professional body for Health, Safety and Environmental Professionals in Ghana in the interest of advancing health and safety.